Happy 5th birthday to Benje Patterson Ltd!

Happy 5th birthday to me! I can scarcely believe that my economic consultancy has turned 5. What started as a means to an end to balance making my life choice of living in Queenstown Lakes work with the need to earn a living, has evolved into something that makes me scratch my head every day.

Since 2019, I have worked on hundreds of projects for a large range of clients. These projects have spanned the length and breadth of the motu, and have even included some forays abroad. The mix of projects have often had regional economic issues at their core, but have involved a multitude of topics including: agriculture, horticulture, manufacturing, commercial and industrial property, housing demand, mining, health, training and education, tourism, aviation, rail, biking, skiing, and sporting events.

I am a master problem solver and like making economics simple. I have always had a constant frustration that my profession is common sense with fancy jargon – so why not strip that shit out and serve it up clearly to those needing the insights to make decisions!

My client base started out as 100% public sector, but has evolved to a point where private sector work forms at least half of my business. It’s pretty neat getting to support businesses make real decisions about business strategies and investments, as well as help them through regulatory hoops and processes. Alongside this client work, I also sit on the boards of Arrowtown Promotion and Business Association (APBA) (as chair), Queenstown Trails Trust, and Economic Development New Zealand.

I am looking forward to what the future holds for me and the great mix of work that comes my way. In the meantime, 2024 is going to be defined as a year of balance for me. Those who follow my work, may also know that I have been juggling my profession with a side hustle as an ultra-runner. The past 12 months of ultra-running saw things evolve from daydreaming in the hills above Arrowtown about what was possible to landing on podiums across New Zealand and Australia in major ultras of up to 100 miles.

This year, I am taking things up another notch and will be competing in UTMB (Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc), which is the global pinnacle event for ultrarunners where 2,500 mad souls from all over the world descend on Chamonix, France for a 170km+ (with 10,000m+ vertical ascent) lap of Mont Blanc. I can’t wait for UTMB, and in the meantime have quite a calendar mapped out of training and racing in New Zealand, Australia, and Europe. I will still be juggling work, but it might just be that at times this ultra-running economist will be beaming in on Zoom to you after destroying his legs on some mountain he can’t quite pronounce right!